Friday, November 06, 2009

Osprey games

One day, while watching the osprey nest in Nanaimo, I watched an episode between the two nestlings that got me thinking.

They were waiting the return of their parents, and the fish that would accompany them.
They cried constantly. Then lifted off the nest and chased each other.

One of the birds had this tangle of rope caught in her talons. 
The other chased aggressively.

It was like that mad hour in human homes before dinner time. When kids are out of control with hunger and it feels like it could turn murderous at any time.

This looked that way, but maybe it was simple play. Many mammals and birds are known to engage in play of some sort. As it is for the human animal, the young are practicing skills they will need to use when it's time to fend for themselves.

In the case of these osprey siblings, they flew at eachother and made dives and dodges to evade attack. The one without the rope in talons picked up a sturdy stick at one point and tried to drop it on its soaring nest mate below.

These birds, and their parents, would soon be leaving on a long trip to their wintering grounds in Mexico and the northern parts of South America. Besides the acrobatics, just working their flight muscles would seem to be a good idea before the journey.

Once the fish arrived, the pair returned immediately to the nest and didn't move again as a steady stream came in on the feet of their fishing guardians for the next half hour or so.

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